I read the book just before Christmas and wanted to share my thoughts with you.
Some secrets should never be told.
Nine year old Paul wakes to find his mother standing at his bedroom door. 'I'll just be a minute,' she says. And disappears. He fights against a future decided by others, certain of only one thing - his mother's love. But why did she leave? Where did she go? He never stops searching. Not as a child. Not as a man.
Finally he has answers. But the right ones? The past casts a long shadow - ensnaring in a relentless search for the truth - whatever the cost.
Set against the dramatic backdrop of North Devon and the Island of Lundy, Shadow Child draws the reader into a world of loss and longing, a world with a deadly secret at its heart.
Pamela won me over with her descriptions of the location. I had no problem seeing the setting she provided and the time in which the novel is set.
I enjoyed the characterisation. Pamela has a good sense of giving us rounded characters, who are consistent, sometimes flawed and who stay with us long after the last page is turned.
There are lots of references to the mechanics of Social Services. Sometimes I thought they slowed down what was already a slow moving story, but having said that some readers might appreciate the insight into the practices of Social Services. One of the characters is a Social Worker and we not only delve into her work but her feelings about her job too.
As with many of her characters and plot lines, there is more to this story than meets the eye so there is always an element of intrigue.
My main criticism (probably because I am a writer and this is what I would have done) is that I might have started the story from a different place, giving more emphasis to the Paul as an adult and drawing on his past to explain why he is the way he is. Just a thought.
This is one I would recommend - and I don't do that very often!
For your copy of Shadow Child by Pamela Vass click here and happy reading.